The final installment of Jaguar’s legendary line of XK sports cars arrived in 1957, ushering in the most dramatic changes to the model range since the XK120 debuted nearly a decade prior. The new XK150’s styling was significantly revised with a higher beltline and broad, slab body sides to modernize its looks and improve comfort and refinement. It was wider than the outgoing XK140, offering considerably more cabin space. The new design was noticeably different, yet it retained the same character that made the XK series so eminently desirable among sports car enthusiasts. Under the skin, it was business as usual for Jaguar. The chassis featured independent front suspension, a Salisbury live rear axle, disc brakes at all four corners, and rack and pinion steering. The powerful twin overhead-cam inline-six remained under the bonnet, and thanks to a new B-Type cylinder head, horsepower increased to 210. New for the XK150 was the high-performance “S” option, which added a straight-port head with triple S.U. Carburetors to produce an impressive 250 horsepower. Production ended in October 1960, with fewer than 10,000 XK150s rolling out of Jaguar’s Browns Lane works, as the all-new E-Type was slated to take over.
This gorgeous 1959 XK150 is one of just 888 3.4-liter “S” Open Two-Seat roadsters produced. It is the subject of a body-off, nut-and-bolt restoration finished in its striking original color scheme of black over red leather upholstery with a sand hood and is believed to be one of just eight cars built to this specification and color scheme. Bekrag Motors of Orange, New Jersey, sold it new to Mr. J.N. Hill, and it remained within New Jersey for much of its life. In the mid-1980s, a local collector acquired it from the 3rd owner, reportedly with just 43,000 miles on the odometer. It was described as a clean original car at the time, and the owner enjoyed the car for several years before sending it to a California Jaguar specialist for a 2 ½ year nut and bolt restoration. The XK150 was returned to its original splendor, finished in factory-correct colors with exceptional, high-level detailing.
In 2016, the XK150 S found its most recent custodian and remained steadfastly in the Garden State until only recently. As presented, it is an exquisite example with a superb, highly detailed restoration. The black bodywork is impressively crisp and straight with excellent panel fitment. Chrome and brightwork are similarly outstanding, and the car rides on brilliant chrome knock-off wire wheels shod with Vredestein Sprint Classic radials. It currently shows fewer than 45,000 miles, which is believed to be accurate and has covered just a few thousand since its world-class restoration.
The beautifully trimmed cockpit is finished with superb red Connolly hides and correct materials such as Wilton carpet and vinyl coverings. Instruments and controls are naturally all correct and beautifully restored, with a ‘cherry on top’ in the form of a dealer-offered Derrington 3-spoke steering wheel. The hood is trimmed in sand-colored Haartz canvas, and the boot is lined with proper red Hardura. An original factory tool kit is included.
Lifting the bonnet reveals a gorgeous, highly detailed engine bay. The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate confirms it retains its original, numbers-matching block and head. The presentation is superb, with highly polished alloy cam covers, triple SU carburetors (unique to the S model), and authentic decals and labels. The original airbox remains in its rightful place, and the hoses, clamps, and ancillaries are appropriately detailed to concours standards. The restorers fitted an updated five-speed all-synchro gearbox, allowing for trouble-free high-speed touring and effortless up- and downshifts.
Opportunities to acquire a genuine XK150 S roadster are rare, particularly in such an eminently attractive and desirable factory color scheme. This concours-quality example is fit for a wide range of worldwide motoring events, with exquisite detailing to wow the judges and exhilarating performance to thrill occupants on the open road.
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